With permanent hair removal being a 'thing' why would anyone bother to shave their legs any more?
None more than it's one of the cheapest and easiest ways to stay smooth and you can do it whenever you like. Here's how to get the cleanest, smoothest shave every time.
Shaving Versus Other Hair Removal Options
Shaving, however old school it might seem, is simple, quick and effective. You don't need many tools: (razor, oil or foam and a moisturiser) and having the right tools can be the difference between silky smooth legs and having to stick toilet paper to your knee.
Worth noting: don't share your razor (it contains bacteria), and store it away from the shower as the heat and moisture will blunt the blade quicker.
Now, onto the competition…
Laser Hair Removal is expensive, takes a long time, and restricts your ability to go in the sun: it definitely works but it's best to do it during winter.
Waxing can be painful and you have to wait for the hair to grow to a certain length before you get the next wax. So for 3 weeks of the month you're smooth, then smooth-ish and then hairy again.
Epilators sit somewhere between waxing and shaving. You need some hair for the epilator to grip onto, but you generally don't need to wait as long as you do for a wax. On the plus-side you have the convenience of doing it at home.
Depilatory cream is messy, takes time to develop (not to mention it usually smells awful) and can sting. But, the results last as long as waxing.
Even if you use one of the above, shaving is the perfect way to keep straggling hairs at bay. For best results, follow these professional tips:
What You'll Need
Invest in a Natural Shaving Soap or Gel
Gel, soap or foam are a vital component for a smooth shave. Or, if you'r after extra moisture, "Shave oil is a great alternative to traditional shaving products like soap, foam, gel and cream," says Tracey Bailey, founder of Biome. "Shaving oil helps the blade to glide over the skin easier which prevents irritation."
Try: Biome Divine Shave Soap, RRP $14.95
A Good Razor is a Must
Ellen de Vries, co-founder of Oscar Razor says, "For too long, women have been tricked into believing that they should pay more for a pink razor that uses identical blades to the men's. The face is the most delicate (and visible!) part of the body, so razors engineered for face-shaving are more than sufficient for use on the legs, underarms and bikini line. What matters is that the razor is clean and sharp."
Try: Parker 29L Women's Safety Razor $45.95 or start an Oscar Razor Shave Plan from $3.75 per month.
Lock in Moisture
Ellen says, "Your skin is always at its most sensitive after shaving. I suggest using a gentle, fragrance-free moisturiser afterwards. I also recommend avoiding fake tan for the next 24 hours. Not only could it irritate the skin, the tan has a tendency to sit in the pores giving you unsightly results."
Technically it's for men, but the macadamia oil seals the moisture in after shaving, helps prevent ingrown hairs (thanks to camellia and argan oil), and the combination of sandalwood, rosewood, ylang ylang and lime smells lovely.
Step-by-Step: How to Shave Your Legs
Step #1 Take a Shower
"The first step for a smooth shave is to have a warm shower. The steam and heat from the hot water will open the pores and soften your skin and the hairs which will help to reduce irritation and give you a closer shave," explains Tracey.
Step #2 Exfoliate
Exfoliate your skin with a natural loofah to remove dead skin cells, lift hairs and loosen ingrown hairs. Moisturise your skin with toxin free and palm oil free moisturiser or natural oil every night as this will help to keep your skin hydrated and smooth.
Exfoliate your skin with a natural loofah to remove dead skin cells, lift hairs and loosen ingrown hairs. Moisturise your skin with toxin free and palm oil free moisturiser or natural oil every night as this will help to keep your skin hydrated and smooth.Tracey Bailey
Step #3 Lather (or oil) Up
When you’re ready to shave, lather your legs in natural shave oil, gel, cream or soap as this will help the razor to glide over the skin and prevent razor burn.
Ellen adds, "Make sure your razor is clean and sharp. Skin, hair and product build-up on the blades, so it’s important to rinse as you go to prevent clogging. Once you’ve finished, dry the blade gently with a cloth and store out of the shower to prevent rust and prolong its lifespan. "
Nicks and cuts are par for the course but avoid tearing ribbons off your legs by being super careful around the ankles and knees. Short, slow strokes are best.
Step 5 Pat Dry and Moisturise
Once you're done, pat your legs dry and apply a natural moisturiser.
"Your skin is always at its most sensitive after shaving," says Ellen. "I suggest using a gentle, fragrance-free moisturiser afterwards. I also recommend avoiding fake tan for the next 24 hours. Not only could it irritate the skin, the tan has a tendency to sit in the pores giving you unsightly results.
Tracey notes that far from needing to spend a fortune on expensive products, natural and organic is the key. "Coconut oil which can be used for shaving contains vitamin E and antioxidants that soothe and moisturise the skin."